4 February 2010 | Amy Rowe
The UK may collaborate with other countries to improve defence procurement, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said yesterday.
Armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth said: “We must increase cooperation with our international partners to deliver defence more efficiently and effectively.”
He made the remarks in a discussion paper on the future of the military published ahead of the government’s Strategic Defence Review.
Asked if this would include procurement collaboration, an MoD spokeswoman replied: “Everything is on the table.”
It comes days after a critical review by the Centre for Policy Studies, which said the MoD must recognise the limits of European defence integration in light of the “weak” outlook for future defence spending.
Alongside the green paper, the MoD published the Defence Strategy for Acquisition Reform, which builds on recommendations in the Gray review.
The strategy document includes a plan to plough £45 million into improving procurement skills at Defence Equipment and Support.
Other proposals include establishing clearer lines of internal communication and building a more active and transparent relationship with the defence industry.
The cost and affordability of the MoD’s equipment programme is to be audited every year by the National Audit Office, it added.
“At the heart of the strategy is a radical commitment to greater public transparency by publishing annual assessments of the overall affordability of our equipment plans,” said Lord Drayson, minister of defence and acquisition reform.
“That will bring into clearer, short-term focus the longer-term consequences of our decisions, and expose them to external scrutiny.”